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Fish Set Meal at うなぎ湖畔 Motel in Kagoshima, Japan

People Who Have Trouble Sleeping Are at a Higher Risk of Dying – Especially People with Diabetes

In a paper published by the Journal of Sleep Research, researchers reveal how they examined data* from half a million middle-aged UK participants asked if they had trouble falling asleep at night or woke up in the middle of the night.

The report found that people with frequent sleep problems are at a higher risk of dying than those without sleep problems. This grave outcome was more pronounced for people with Type-2 diabetes: during the nine years of the research, the study found that they were 87 per cent more likely to die of any cause than people without diabetes or sleep disturbances.

The study also found that people with diabetes and sleep problems were 12 per cent more likely to die over this period than those who had diabetes but not frequent sleep disturbances.

Malcolm von Schantz, the first author of the study and Professor of Chronobiology from the University of Surrey, said:

“Although we already knew that there is a strong link between poor sleep and poor health, this illustrates the problem starkly.”

“The question asked when the participants enrolled does not necessarily distinguish between insomnia and other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea. Still, from a practical point of view it doesn’t matter. Doctors should take sleep problems as seriously as other risk factors and work with their patients on reducing and mitigating their overall risk.”

Professor Kristen Knutson of Northwestern University, the senior co-author of the study, said:

“Diabetes alone was associated with a 67 per cent increased risk of mortality. However, the mortality for participants with diabetes combined with frequent sleep problems was increased to 87 per cent. In order words, it is particularly important for doctors treating people with diabetes to also investigate sleep disorders and consider treatments where appropriate.”

Source: University of Surrey

In Pictures: Kazari Maki Sushi (飾り巻き寿司)

Blood Sugar Tests Using Sweat, Not Blood? They Could Be on the Way

Denise Mann wrote . . . . . . . . .

A new quick and painless sensor that measures blood sugar in human sweat may mean far fewer finger pricks for the millions of people who live with diabetes.

Monitoring blood sugar to make sure it remains in the target range is the cornerstone of diabetes management, but the pain and inconvenience of daily finger pricks can be a deterrent for many.

The investigational, touch-based test measures blood sugar in sweat and applies a personalized algorithm that correlates it with glucose in blood. It’s more than 95% accurate at predicting blood glucose levels before and after meals, according to a new proof-of-concept study.

The new sweat test isn’t ready for prime time yet as large-scale studies are still needed to validate the approach, but diabetes experts not involved in the new study are cautiously optimistic.

“No-prick glucose testing has been a holy grail of sorts in diabetes, and hopefully one day someone will cross the finish line,” said Dr. John Buse, director of the Diabetes Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “These data suggest that there is hope.”

The search for an alternative to finger-prick testing to improve diabetes control and quality of life for people with this disease has been ongoing, and sweat has many merits. Fingers contain many sweat glands and produce a high amount of sweat, but sweat has lower levels of glucose than blood. What’s more, readings may vary with other skin characteristics, resulting in inaccurate blood sugar measurements.

The new sensor includes a sweat-absorbing polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel that sits on a flexible plastic strip. You place your finger on the sensor for one minute and the hydrogel absorbs tiny amounts of sweat and undergoes a reaction that results in a small electrical current detected by a hand-held device.

To make sure that the reading is accurate, researchers also measured volunteers’ blood sugar with a standard finger-prick test and developed a personalized mathematical formula that could translate each person’s sweat glucose to their blood glucose levels. To calibrate the device, a person with diabetes would need a finger prick just once or twice per month.

“Such fast and simple touch-based blood-free fingertip sweat glucose assay holds considerable promise for improved patient compliance and enhanced diabetes management,” concluded the researchers led by Joseph Wang, a professor of nanoengineering at University of California, San Diego.

Their findings were published recently in the journal ACS Sensors.

“I think this is exciting technology and hope that the team will be able to take it to the finish line,” Buse said, but many questions remain.

Researchers would need to explore the interference of things like soap from hand-washing, lotions, dirt and food residue on blood sugar readings from sweat, and then there is the question of cost and complexity, he said.

“Will a commercial version require special wipe, three minutes of sweat accumulation and one-minute touch?” Buse asked. “Though it seems a bit much, I am sure some of the 30 million patients with diabetes in the U.S. would prefer that to a finger prick.”

The bottom line? “There’s lots of work to do, but there is hope,” Buse said.

“This technology is innovative and somewhat promising,” agreed Dr. Minisha Sood, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “If the algorithm is accurate and scalable, it would be a game changer for a glucose monitoring.”

Needle-free testing is much more attractive for people with diabetes. “This is a proof of concept and bringing this to widespread reality is likely years off,” Sood said.

Source: HealthDay

Mexican-style Drunken Fish

Ingredients

4 fresh or frozen halibut or salmon steaks, 1 inch thick (about 1-1/4 pounds)
3 dried ancho or mulato peppers or 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 cup tequila or dry red wine
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large) or one 1 (4-1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
lime slices
fresh oregano sprigs
3 cups hot cooked rice

Method

  1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Make the sauce. If using dried peppers, cut open peppers. Discard stems and seeds. Place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes to soften. Drain well. Cut the peppers into small pieces.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine tequila and pepper pieces. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth.
  4. In a medium saucepan, cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, salt, and cumin. Add blended tequila mixture and chili powder, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  7. Place fish in a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over fish (cover remaining sauce and keep warm). Bake fish, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  8. Season fish to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
  9. Garnish with lime slices and oregano sprigs and serve with rice. Pass remaining sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mexican – 94 Authentic Dishes


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